Recently, more and more companies are focusing on local SEO as well as normal SEO. This is because local SEO that specializes in locality has the potential to generate tangible profits because it is easy to connect with customers. Companies that have not yet implemented local SEO measures may change their profits by focusing on content that meets local demand.

I will introduce the detailed how-to and features of local SEO, and how to take countermeasures.

If you search by “neighborhood cafe” or “place name + keyword” with a search engine, the map and store information will be searched at the top and right. “Local SEO” means optimizing your site so that your company is registered here.

Unlike ordinary SEO, targeting is based on the region, but in the modern age of smartphones, many people are looking for stores and services on the go. As companies aim to attract actual customers, local SEO has a more important role than normal SEO.

Local search results

What’s the difference between the local search results at the top and right? They are called Local Pack and Knowledge Panel, and they have different roles.

Local pack

Local packs are local search results that are displayed based on regional information. It is displayed at the top of the search screen. If you search for “Cafes around me”, it will be displayed like the image below.

Google Map Pack

There is a difference in the UI depending on the medium to be searched, such as a link to the site is displayed on a PC, and a “call” button on a smartphone.

In addition, if you search for “fashionable shoes,” you will see nearby shoe stores.

The local pack seems to be affected by the distance, such as the current location of the searched user and the location of the store, and the closer the two positions are, the higher the displayed position.

However, when it is displayed without including the place name such as “shoes fashionable”, it can be said that there are many parts generated by the algorithm information in the local pack. Therefore, in order to display it in the local pack, we cannot ignore the basic SEO that aims for the correct information and user benefit.

Knowledge panel

The Knowledge Panel is a local search result that is displayed large on the right. If you search for business information such as company name or store name, the details of the service will be displayed. Example of our SEO Agency below

Trafficvalley Knowledge Panel Snippet

Like the local pack, it is automatically determined by the algorithm.

The Knowledge Panel is displayed by registering with “Google My Business”, but in rare cases, it may be displayed even if it is not registered. This is automatically generated by the computer based on the information on the Internet.

Therefore, rather than relying on accuracy, there are cases where incorrect information is entered and there is a lack of information, so if you aim to register as a knowledge panel, it is important to enter the correct information in “Google My Business”.

Why local SEO becomes more important?

Increasingly, more and more companies are focusing on local SEO measures beyond normal SEO. This is because local SEO contains many elements that are indispensable for attracting customers, which is not enough for ordinary SEO.

Stand out above the SEO display

First, the local search results are displayed at the top of the search screen. In other words, you’ll see it before the normal search results.

The person doing the local search is likely to want to check and purchase the actual item in the near field from the current location. Since it tends to be profitable at an early stage, the more you search for it in the search results, the faster you can supply information about your product.

Local search excels everywhere

Local searches will of course be done at home, but not limited to that. Local searches are actively carried out at work, shops, hotels and airports.

“when on the go or in-stores,a majority of smartphone searches have local intent
Most smartphone searches on the go or in stores have local intent”

Source : searchenginejournal

Local searches performed in shops or on the go are intended to get information about the surrounding area. When you are near your current store and want to find nearby store information where you can drop by, a local search is performed. This means that if you can expose it to users doing local searches, you’re likely to come to your store from nearby stores.

People who do local searches are more likely to make purchases than people who do not

People who do local searches are more likely to buy. The following survey data will help you understand the importance of local searches.

“18% of local smartphone searches led to a purchase within a day compared to 7% of non-local searches Whereas
within 18% of people who did a local search on a smartphone made a purchase in one day Only 7% will not buy”

Source : searchenginejournal

18% of people who do local searches take actions that lead to purchases, compared to 7% who do not. In addition, local searchers will initiate purchase actions within a day. People doing local searches like this tend to be more likely to make a purchase. Attracting your business to local search users is an important promotional activity.

Business formats where local SEO is important

Local SEO is a measure that many companies should focus on, including real stores that need to attract customers in the area and companies that operate multiple stores. In the past, simply posting on the portal site had the effect of attracting customers, but since local SEO measures by Google My Business are more cost-effective, local SEO is becoming more and more important.

There are various business categories in which local SEO is important, but the business categories in which local SEO is important are as follows.

  • Restaurant
  • Hotel
  • Hospital/medical institution
  • Beauty relationship
  • Ceremonial occasion

In addition, local SEO is effective when you want to increase local awareness such as schools and Service companies.

Local SEO measures

Once you understand that local search is important, it’s important to take action. We will introduce the local SEO measures necessary to take action.

Some companies position the definition of local SEO measures as Google My Business, but we think it is not enough. The following are local SEO measures that we consider particularly important.

  1. Local SEO on your site
  2. Google My Business Optimization

Each will be explained below.

Local SEO on your site

For local SEO measures, it is also important to optimize your site. The main optimization measures required on the site are as follows. Optimizing your own site is very important as a countermeasure against local SEO. Let’s recognize it as a minimum measure.

  • Prepare a page to include location information
  • Optimize footer information
  • Make NAP information consistent
  • Optimization of title and description tags
  • Prepare area page

Prepare a page to include location information

Home, overview, and inquiry pages are required to include location information for businesses such as stores. If there are multiple locations, list all locations on the page.

Optimize footer information

Even if you have multiple locations for your business, try to include location information as much as possible in the footer. Inquiries can be improved by installing a CTA that also includes business information.

Make NAP information consistent

Of all the business information on the site, NAP information should be consistent and unified. NAP is Name, Address, Phone (phone number), so let’s unify the NAP information to be listed for each site.

Optimization of title and description tags

Make sure to include area keywords in the title and description tags. However, be sure to include area keywords that are highly relevant to your business location. It may not be exposed even if you include area keywords that are less complete.

Prepare area page

For companies with multiple locations, it is important to have a page for each location. Have a specific page of where you are. Also, if your business locations are spread across multiple cities or prefectures, prepare a regional page that summarizes the locations. A wide range of local SEO measures are possible.

Google My Business Optimization

For local SEO, not only site optimization but also Google My Business optimization is important. By optimizing Google My Business, you can aim to display local packs and frequently expose Google maps.

The following measures are the most important in optimizing Google My Business.

  • Basic information about the company
  • Photo
  • Review Reviews
  • citation
  • Backlink
  • Unification of NAP information

I will explain each one in detail.

Let's enter basic information

Registration to Google My Business is mandatory for both local SEO and knowledge pack display.

As I mentioned in the Knowledge Pack item, if you do not register with Google My Business, it is difficult to see it in the local search results, and even if it is done, incorrect information may be included.

Be sure to register and enter detailed business information. At that time, it is effective to include content that deepens the relationship with the region as much as possible. For example, if you use the area code instead of the free phone number or IP phone number, Google will be highly evaluated as a local company.

Let's put attractive photos

Enriching text information is important, but users are greatly affected by image information.

For example, no matter how appealing your company may be in letters, it may be difficult for users to get a good image. By posting the image, the image can be embodied and the possibility that the user will be interested in the company increases.

The image can be a street view photo, but if you want to convey the appeal of your company, it is better to prepare a special one that the target audience seems to like.

Get reviews

Google Maps displayed by local search has a review review posting function. In Google’s local search, “distance” and “relevance” as well as “user’s awareness” are the criteria for ranking, so the more reviews, the better.

If you register with Google My Business, you can reply to the reviews from the owner. By not only giving thanks to the reviews, but also sincerely responding to the reviews with a low rating, the reliability of the users will increase.

The owner’s correct attitude will be a factor for users to decide to use the store, and as a result, it will lead to new reviews and local SEO measures.

Build Citation

Citation is “reference” or “quote” of the company by other sites. Unlike backlinks, “how much other sites talk about your company’s content” is important.

Building citations is the foundation of SEO, and so is local SEO. In order to build citations, that is, to spread awareness of your company and make it talk about on other sites, it is necessary to devise ways to use it on SNS, information media, etc., other than your company’s site.

Get backlinks

Like citations, backlinks are also an important measure in normal SEO and local SEO.

To receive backlinks, you must be evaluated by an external site. In order to be evaluated, the accuracy and amount of information, in other words, “creating useful content for users” is important, and it can be said that it is the basis of SEO measures.

Pay attention to the authoritativeness of information, including keywords such as site contents and titles, which are conscious of regions as much as possible, and be conscious of creating sites that make external sites want to be linked.

Make Sure to unify NAP information

Unification of NAP information cannot be ignored in local SEO. What is NAP

  • Name (name of store/company)
  • Address
  • Phone

It is an acronym for.

For example, let’s say you registered as “Realtime Marketer Inc.” in your Google My Business. However, if it is described as “Realtime Marketer Co., Ltd.” on other sites, Google will recognize these two as different companies and will not be able to build their own citation.

This difference in NAP is seen in detail in Google, and the difference in half-width and full-width numbers and the presence or absence of punctuation marks are also considered as factors for determining the same company.

It is difficult to request corrections to other sites one by one, but what the site owner can do immediately to unify the NAP is to match the information description about the company in the article with the registered content of Google My Business.

If it is your own site, it is not difficult to make small changes, and since it is likely that you will also copy and paste the name registration method of your own site to the external site that will be used in the future, it will have the effect of eliminating the gap of NAP

Conclusion

Improving local SEO is a very effective means for companies and stores that want to attract more customers. In order to attract customers with a strong willingness to purchase by specializing in regional characteristics, we recommend incorporating the methods introduced. The range of local SEO is wide-ranging, including internal measures for the company’s website, optimization of Google My Business, and measures for acquiring backlinks. If you understand the importance of local SEO, but you’re not sure how to get it done, please contact us.